Super 8 was the #1 film at the box office this weekend with a good, but not great opening weekend for a summer film. With the lack of major new releases this weekend, most of the holdover films posted strong holds and made studio executives happy. The opening weekend gross for Super 8 was the lowest since the weekend of May 13th when Thor was the #1 film for a second weekend in a row with a gross of $34.7 million. My predictions this weekend were not great (I was way off on Super 8), but I correctly predicted four of the films in the top five, getting all four in order. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Super 8 debuted in 1st place with a gross of $37 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $55 million). Super 8 had a per theatre average of $10,950, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in the top ten. That’s a solid per theatre average for the film, especially considering that there are no “A” list stars in Super 8, and the film is being sold on the power of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s names. What is a little disappointing to me is that Super 8 was not able to out gross Cloverfield, which had an opening weekend gross of $40 million back in 2008. It’s disappointing because both films had no stars, were sold on J.J. Abrams name, but Cloverfield opened in January, which is easily a month were attendance is not as high for moviegoers, so based on that fact alone Super 8 should have had a better opening weekend gross. What is good news for the film is that it will make a profit as the budget for Super 8 is listed at $50 million, and including the gross Super 8 had on its midnight showings on Thursday night, it has taken in $38 million for Paramount.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is comic book adventure X-Men: First Class with a gross of $25 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $28.1 million). X-Men: First Class had a per theatre average of $6,771 and was down 54.6% from last weekend. The percentage drop was the second lowest in X-Men franchise history which is great news for the film. See below:
X-Men – 56.9% second weekend drop
X2: X-Men United – 53.2% second weekend drop
X-Men: The Last Stand – 66.9% second weekend drop
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 69% second weekend drop
X-Men: First Class – 54.6% second weekend drop
The strong hold for the franchise does mean that audiences like the film, but detractors will be quick to point out that the opening weekend last weekend was the second lowest in the franchise, so any drop off that is above 50% is not a good sign. X-Men: First Class will face some trouble next weekend when another comic book film, Green Lantern, gets released. After ten days, X-Men: First Class has grossed $98.8 million and still has a ways to go to make back its budget of $160 million.
Dropping from 2nd place to 3rd place is the comedy The Hangover II with a gross of $18.5 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $15 million). The Hangover II had a per theatre average of $5,034 and dropped 41% from last weekend’s gross. The comedy hit still has a ways to go in out grossing the original (which grossed $277.3 million), but it is still doing well. After three weekends, The Hangover II has grossed $216.5 million from a budget of $80 million, so this film is a cash cow for Warner Bros. By the way, with this weekend’s gross, The Hangover II is now the highest grossing film of 2011, ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which has a gross of $208.7 million.
Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is the animated-adventure Kung Fu Panda 2 with a gross of $16.6 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $14 million). Kung Fu Panda 2 had a per theatre average of $4,234 and was down 30.4% from last weekend. The sequel still has a ways to go to catch up to the original’s gross (which was $215.4 million) but the hold this weekend is a good sign for the film. After three weekends, Kung Fu Panda 2 has grossed $126.9 million from a budget of $150 million.
I was wrong in my battle for 5th place prediction. Estimates show that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides grossed $10.8 million for a 5th place finish (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $7.9 million). Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had a per theatre average of $3,159 and was down 39.6% from last weekend. After four weekends, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has grossed $208.7 million from a budget of $250 million.
Bridesmaids finished in 6th place with a gross of $10.1 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8 million). Bridesmaids had a per theatre average of $3,475 and was down a very low 15.7% from last weekend. After five weekends, Bridesmaids has grossed $123.9 million from a budget of $32.5 million.
Debuting in 7th place is the kid film Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer with a gross of $6.2 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $5 million). The film had a per theatre average of $2,483, which is not good news for the film. The budget for the film is listed at $20 million, and I don’t see this film making a profit for Relativity.
In limited release:
The Trip was the strongest of the new films that debuted in limited release this weekend. The film grossed $84,600 from 6 theatres, giving it a per theatre average of $14,100 (which was the best per theatre average of any of the new films this weekend, as the Brad Pitt//Sean Penn film The Tree of Life had the best per theatre average in release with an average of $18,617).
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Super 8 – $55 million
X-Men: First Class – $28.1 million
The Hangover Part II – $15 million
Kung Fu Panda 2 – $14 million
Bridesmaids – $8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Super 8 – $37 million
X-Men: First Class – $25 million
The Hangover Part II – $18.5 million
Kung Fu Panda 2 – $16.6 million
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $10.8 million
Next weekend, the new films debuting in theatres are: the comic book adventure Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and the Jim Carrey comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!